Dorsal shaving affects concentrations of faecal cortisol metabolites in lactating golden hamsters

Dorsal shaving affects concentrations of faecal cortisol metabolites in lactating golden hamsters Breeding of golden hamsters is classically performed at thermal conditions ranging from 20 to 24 °C. However, growing evidence suggests that lactating females suffer from heat stress. We hypothesised that shaving females dorsally to maximise heat dissipation may reduce stress during reproduction. We thus compared faecal cortisol metabolites (FCM) from shaved golden hamster mothers with those from unshaved controls. We observed significantly lower FCM levels in the shaved mothers (F 1,22 = 8.69, p = 0.0075) pointing to lower stress due to ameliorated heat dissipation over the body surface. In addition, we observed 0.4 °C lower mean subcutaneous body temperatures in the shaved females, although this effect did not reach significance (F 1,22 = 1.86, p = 0.18). Our results suggest that golden hamsters having body masses being more than four times that of laboratory mice provide a very interesting model to study aspects of lactation and heat production at the same time. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Naturwissenschaften Springer Journals

Dorsal shaving affects concentrations of faecal cortisol metabolites in lactating golden hamsters

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Publisher
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by The Author(s)
Subject
Life Sciences; Life Sciences, general; Environment, general
ISSN
0028-1042
eISSN
1432-1904
D.O.I.
10.1007/s00114-017-1536-7
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Breeding of golden hamsters is classically performed at thermal conditions ranging from 20 to 24 °C. However, growing evidence suggests that lactating females suffer from heat stress. We hypothesised that shaving females dorsally to maximise heat dissipation may reduce stress during reproduction. We thus compared faecal cortisol metabolites (FCM) from shaved golden hamster mothers with those from unshaved controls. We observed significantly lower FCM levels in the shaved mothers (F 1,22 = 8.69, p = 0.0075) pointing to lower stress due to ameliorated heat dissipation over the body surface. In addition, we observed 0.4 °C lower mean subcutaneous body temperatures in the shaved females, although this effect did not reach significance (F 1,22 = 1.86, p = 0.18). Our results suggest that golden hamsters having body masses being more than four times that of laboratory mice provide a very interesting model to study aspects of lactation and heat production at the same time.

Journal

NaturwissenschaftenSpringer Journals

Published: Jan 15, 2018

References

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